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Grateful Dead Live at Philadelphia Civic Center on 1984-04-21

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Grateful Dead Live at Philadelphia Civic Center on 1984-04-21

Topics Live concert

Alabama Getaway-> Promised Land, Friend Of The Devil, Me & My Uncle, Mexicali Blues, West L.A. Fadeaway, Minglewood Blues, Tennessee Jed, Looks Like Rain-> Deal Help On The Way-> Slipknot!-> Franklin's Tower-> Playin' In The Band-> China Doll-> Don't Need Love-> Drums-> Wharf Rat-> Throwing Stones-> Not Fade Away, E: Brokedown Palace

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Philadelphia Civic Center
Location Philadelphia, PA


Patched Eaton/Silberman FOB (17th Row Split 30 feet) Neumann U87's via Doug Nawrocki


Reviewer: kbmill - - September 26, 2016
Subject: bread crumb
10% of all China Doll's ever played are played in 1984. Random and weird. Such a beautiful song.
Reviewer: Niass200 - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 18, 2016
Subject: another voice asking for this tours soundboards
Yes this show deserves the sbd, mail it to me and I'll upload it. 2 rats in this three nighter. I recall the 1st set may be better than the 2nd set, possibly. also BTW I hear there was a crowd of older heads who used to split after the 1st set. Is this true, and why not.
Reviewer: cptntripzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 25, 2014
Subject: Playing in the Band
Playing in the Band (PITB) first appears on Weir's debut solo album spelled with the "g" on Playing -- not Playin'. Not sure how the "g" got dropped but I am officially appealing for it's return. As an interesting diversion, I have listened to each Playing in the Band beginning with 1980 all the way up to this night. This is my first review since starting. For those who are interested, so far, year-wise, 1980 is the standout with each night consistently delivering very hypnotic, tight psychedelic jams. Overall the song is an interesting microcosm of how the band evolved during what is my favorite period of their 30 year history. I may write up a longer piece on this study because PITB is such an wonderful snapshot of the exploratory, improvisational side of the band's playing. Off the top of my head, 4-17-83, 8-19-80, 10-16-81 are my favorites.

The sound on this recording is superb. This version of PITB is very tight. '83 marked the beginning of Brent moving away from strictly using the Hammond B-3 organ for this number and switching to the his new Yamaha GS-1 which had the killer marimba tone and other percussive instrument sounds.
Reviewer: Joshua_me - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 16, 2010
Subject: Insanity's King....
Sweet Holy Jebus !!

That "Slipknot" is a mind-crush.

Excellent stuff !
Reviewer: dr. flashback - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 18, 2009
Subject: Top Ten for 1984
So what's better than enjoying 420?
Why, 421 of course !!
Some of you might think I've lost my mind completely. Not only am I bothering to rate shows from 1984, now I'm even picking AUD recordings!???

However, as many of the reviews from this run of shows will attest, there are some INCREDIBLE sounding AUD tapes from this period. These guys had the right stuff, and the right location. We owe them a big debt, cause otherwise this show would be gone forever.
Sure, I'm praying that a Miller SBD upgrade drops from the clouds, as did 4/20/84. But for now, this AUD will do me just fine. A little echo-ey. But much of that is from the hall's acoustics. Tweak your knobs for some bass and fire up some cheerios.

Four reasons I like this show better than 4/20 -
1. Bobby does not play Rooster.
2. They do not encore with Day Job. Brokedown instead !!!
3. A more solid setlist overall, esp. Set Two.
4. The Wharf Rat is one of the best from this period.

The first set is tight and well played. FOTD delivers the vibe and sets the mood. West L.A. is also very solid with good vocals by Jerry. I always wished Jerry could have played this song with Little Feat - he and Lowell trading vocals. Can't you see it? But I digress.
Minglewood is scorching. Bobby is convincing, and the crowd responds. Plenty of funky gospel organ from Brent. By now my head is swirling like the Leslies - and I've completely forgotten that I'm NOT hearing a SBD recording. AMAZING. Even Bobby's slide solo is, well .... good. Phil drops some fat ones, and Jerry solos with passion. The band is really locked in now, and they proceed to lay down an energetic, funky Tenn Jed - one of only 10 played in 1984. Jerry's voice is just raspy enough here, and on this AUD, the 2 drummers don't dominate the mix. You hear plenty of Jerry and Brent, and an above average Phil presence. Again - it's easy to forget you're listening to an AUD recording. Finally, it's Deal that makes the first set worth the trip. Up tempo and blazing from start to finish. Jerry is way out in front on the solo, nails every note and never seems to run out of fire. I'm certain this song sent the audience into the break with melted faces.
As I've written before, there seems to be certain songs that shine a little brighter in certain years, for whatever reason. And in 1984, although an uneven year overall - Wharf Rat, Morning Dew, Shakedown and Help>Slipknot are regular standouts for me throughout the year.
They dive into Help like they mean business, a lively tempo with Garcia articulating all the riffs perfectly. And Phil, wow. Some monster bass lines that when combined with the counterpoint blazing from Jerry and Brent makes the whole thing sound like Return to Forever. This has to be about the best Help of the year hands down. All 64 colors and then some.
Then they drop right in to the pocket with Franklin's. The groove is so infectious and comes through so well on the AUD, you can really feel the crowd dancing with you. Jerry and Brent trade synchopated rhythms like clockwork. This whole trilogy takes over 27 minutes, and if your Dew isn't rolled away by now, check your pulse. Nothing left to do but blast off into Inner Space with a fine Playin. A decent length for the 80's (11 minutes) which includes a very mellow minor mode section from Jerry. Transcendent. Takes me back to those 1973 Dark Star jams. Forget 1984. Forget space and time entirely. This is the Zone.

The Zone melts and morphs into China Doll so effortlessly you don't notice. Jerry's guitar is really clear and strong here, once again you'd bet your buds it's a SBD. Okay, so he cracks a couple of vocals, but still a solid version with a prize inside - a nice Playin type jam at the end. It seems Jerry just didn't want to stop.

Space is just right. Not the overly-digital sound of the later 80's. Not boring. Not too hard-edged.
But definitely weird. Jerry plays around with the "Other One" rhythm a few times but the band won't play. He does manage to coax them into a major key eventually, which leads to a great, heart-stopping version of Wharf Rat. The crowd's response really comes through here, without detracting from the sound. Plenty of bass from Phil and Brent's pedals.
"I'll get up and fly away" - yes you will when you crank this one up. Roses will be growing out of the top of your head. Garcia's leads are shimmering and soaring. And he puts some extra soul into the vocals as well.
The band still has plenty of fuel left to throw down a Not Fade Away with teeth. Except for Don't Need Love and Stones, the second set could have been a 1977 show, you dig?
Brokedown is the star on top of this Christmas tree. A perfect ending to a stellar show and a real highlight for this tour with another good vocal performance from Jerry (and good harmonies from the band).
A very satisfying show on many levels. 4/20 may also make my top ten, I haven't decided yet. The Scarlet>Fire is very strong. Another listen is in order. But this last night is an undeniable standout.

enjoy the eighties greaties,
Dr. Flashback :-)
Reviewer: weirjerz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 27, 2009
Subject: love this show
hey now.anyways i was at this show ,had never listened to this show since tonite.and man oh man!this show always stuck in my head i remember i was sooo dosed that and the place was sooo echoey that you just could not find a spot were the sound came together.i remember though that help on the way /slipinto frank was stunning and that thing just stunned me againthat is a snapshot of why i went to shows a little sloppy a little flubbed but jerry is nuts on it and all through this show you can see that thing he had cant explain but his soloing just sings on this show the place was 10 times echoey than this copy wow in love all over again......i miss jerry!
Reviewer: thebone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 23, 2009
Subject: Good Show from a Good Tour
This is a good, solid show from an excellent Spring Tour. FOTD and H>S>F are particularly nice, as is the Wharf Rat coming out of D/S.
Reviewer: Albix - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 23, 2009
Subject: Begging for the SBD!
That's right, I'm begging for the SBD of this show now. SBD's from 2 previous nights at the Civic Center circulate so how's about we get a BOARD of this GEM into circulation? PLEASE?

Of course there is echo, the mics are Omni's and the old Civic Center had that sound.

If you are giving this show 3 stars, you obviously weren't there.
Reviewer: Ashevegas - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 1, 2009
Subject: a nice 2nd set
everyone wants a SBD of this show ? WHY? this is a very good AUD.

the hall has some echo ...but...I totally enjoyed this recording !

a very good show over all .

a nice H>S>F>Playin

IMHO, this is the best Wharf Rat ever played.

a nice WR ,but, IMO NOT even the best of 84

7/14/84 is a MUCH better WharfRat

7/14 blows this show away

if you are looking for a smokin 84 show listen to 10/12/84 ...maybe the show of the year
Reviewer: JamminJerome - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 22, 2008
Subject: pretty average show
Lots of good reviews, but I had trouble getting into this show. The boys seem so tired during this show. The first set is very average with nothing sticking out. The second set starts out strong with H>S>F but continues with an uninspired Playin' and a flubbed China Doll. D>S and what follows is also very average.
1st set = 3 stars
2nd set = 3 stars
sound = 4 stars, good for an AUD
overall show = 3 stars
Reviewer: 73vw - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 26, 2007
Subject: liquid 84
great show, great venue, trippy, noodley h/s/f, amazing wharf rat, throwin, nfa strong...amazing show the night before, too! (missed thursday...)
very good days....
Reviewer: early 80's meltdown - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 7, 2006
Subject: one of my fav aud rec.
killer 3 night run in Philly. Glad they played the civic this spring instead of the Spectrum. I think the Spectrum was booked or something? Anyway that's a big reason why this sounds the way it does. The recording captures just enough of the echo in this old Philly Hall and I think the Boys were stoked to play this broke down palace.

*****nice pull, sonic bass with beautiful separation.
Reviewer: methylman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2006
Subject: Crank it up and you are there
Highly recommended download. One of the better audience recordings. Crank it up and you ARE IN that echoey hall, feeling every one of Phil's bass bombs. All of the elements of the band are in perfect balance except for Jerry's guitar which is a little low in the mix. The show is note-perfect classic GD with none of the sloppiness of some of the 1984 shows.
Reviewer: Rich D - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2006
Subject: Excellent Help/Slip/Franklin's
I agree w/previous reviewers that this help/slip/frank is dynamite. The melo start is cool and the slipknot is jam packed! Playing is also great - reminds me of the Hartford St. Stephen night one (10/15/83). But then the band (especially Jerry) kind of falters in China Doll (too bad, I love that song) -I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned. I give it 3 because the 1st set didn't inspire me (though West LA is quite good) and because of the China Doll, otherwise it's a 5.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2006
Subject: Sick Friend of the Devil
One of the best I have heard from this whole site to be sure - Jer is crushing it and then they f8ck the transition back into lyrics after the jam... That was '84 - points of sheer brilliance and then crap... Providence 4/26 was the best show of this tour I was at both. Minglewood is really hot here and deserves a nod... 1984 was when the junk started visibly taking hold - You just upped the amount of shit you ate in the parking lot to compensate that's all... Great Tenn Jed that was fun.
Reviewer: Jason from Pennsyltucky - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 14, 2006
Subject: wharf rat
This aud is a gem. I just listened to this again the other day and was blown away by the wharf rat out of space. The help>slip>franklins is also interesting, along with a nice china doll. Check it out.
Reviewer: akmusher - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 22, 2006
Subject: An important chapter in the evolution of the 83-84 comeback of the Help->Slipknot->.
Listening to this turned up loud on some decent Sony headphones I am moved to write a review!
This one is consistently mentioned when there is discussion of the best quality audience recordings. Don't know all of the technical details but do know that the mics were spread 30 feet apart in the 17th row and that they fed into an early generation digital deck. I think this comes as close to puting you "in the civic center" as I have heard from any recording.
The first set heats up as it gains momentum. West LA Fade is slick and professional with a dark side to it. The closing Looks Like Rain->Deal has the band taking exciting risks and exploring.
In set II we get to hear each band member return to the stage. Out of the random notes of the band's tuneup rises a steady beat. Brent takes it up, then Phil. Then you hear the taper call it! "Help on the Way! Help on the way!" What a great moment. The Help is much slower and very groovy. Slipknot is an underwater snake weaving throught the muddy Amazon! This is serious stuff. I must concur with the other reviewers. Franklin's is super loose and bouncy, Jerry's at the wheel. A very spacy Playing follows. Jerry's voice is shot on the chorus of China Doll but he still pulls it off with great heart and effect.
Contrary to what a lot of people think about 84 as a year, the spring east coast tour was exceptional. I caught the show two nights later in Providence. Jerry looked awful and was probably very high for the vast majority of the shows. The band sounded loud and aggressive and played with recklessness on many nights. This night at the Philly Civic Center is a great snapshot of the band. Put yourself in the correct state of mind, pop on the headphones and crank up the second set. You won't be dissapointed.
Reviewer: lobster12 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 18, 2005
Subject: love it
Top form. Of course the big boy's voice is gruff, but it is 84. Great sets-period. China doll very very nice and a personal favorite, Don't need love. Wish Brett kept that in the rotation rather than the likes of Just a little light and IWTYO.
Reviewer: fireonshakedownstreet - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2005
Subject: Help>Slip>Franklins
Some sick pre-MIDI turns by Jerry on an inspired Slipkot!. He is a machine on the Franklins into a deep and serious Playin and China Doll and ethereal Dont Need Love. One of the best pre-drums of 84. The Wharf Rat is one for the Ages. What else can be expected? Its April 1984.

Mandatory Listening
Reviewer: fireonshakedownstreet - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2005
Subject: Help>Slip>Franklins
Some sick pre-MIDI turns by Jerry on an inspired Slipknot!. He is a machine on the Franklins into a deep and serious Playin and China Doll and ethereal Dont Need Love. One of the best pre-drums of 84. The Wharf Rat is one for the Ages. What else can be expected? Its April 1984.

One of the best Aud tapes on the Archive. Sounds like a board. Nice airy recording. Little crowd noise.

Mandatory Listening
Reviewer: Albix714 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 27, 2005
Subject: Begging for an upgrade
This was my first show and it really did smoke. Didn't know it at the time but boy was I lucky.
If the guys who has the SBD of this one ever reads this, PLEASE release the SBD of GD 4/21/84.
It is just begging for an upgrade!
Reviewer: utopian - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 11, 2005
Subject: must have
for the soundquality alone but the whole series is fun.

first set is nice a driving West La into a fast minglewood.

Help on the Way has a nice teased out intro
Reviewer: Doug Nawrocki - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 22, 2005
Subject: Help On The Way
Call it botched or whatever you want, it smokes. I like the way it casually builds. This has always been one of my favorite versions of this tune. The Slipknot could've been a touch longer but it's still nice and the Franklin's is on fire. The separation in the recording is amazing as well. A must have, imho...
Reviewer: other3 - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 5, 2005
Subject: I was sick that night.
I had to drag my self to the show. It it good to have a really decent recording of the show which was stock '84.
Reviewer: Harold of the Rocks - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 4, 2004
Subject: Overshadowed by the previous night
Like Mother Teresa dying the same week as Princess Diana, this show will never get the credit it deserves because it will always be overshadowed by the previous night. It's hard to argue that 4/20 setlist or the performance. This was back when 4/20 didn't mean anything to anybody.

But of the 500+ shows I have on tape/DAT/CD, I think I've listened to this one the most. I don't know why I love this show so much, I just do. The beginning of the Help is unorganized with the band all coming in at different times. I personally love the way it begins, but some would prolly call it "botched" and who could blame them. I love the Help > Slip >Franklins from this show. The Playin is where this show really shines. It's definitely my favorite Playin and parts of it get "out there". It's great! The China Doll is awesome too as is the transition into CD. Then you get a free tune after the China Doll!

I love the Space jam and IMHO, this is the best Wharf Rat ever played. Wharf Rat is one of my least favorites, but this version is one I can listen to over and over. Jerry's vocals and playing are just ON. Remainder of the show is standard fare.

The Help, Slip, Franklins, Playin, Space>Wharf Rat make this show a must.
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on 6/28/2004
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